About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Aug 9, 2008 TU group has Olympic tickets — at least we think so

Thank you U.S. Olympic Committee - maybe. Lana trusted the site endorsed by the USOC to purchase 20 tickets to Kazakhstan vs. Norway women's handball at $8 each. Apparently, it is fairly common for national Olympic committees who will not use their allotted tickets to resell them at face value on the Internet. If the transfer works out and the tickets are authentic, the Tiffin University Olympic Academic group has just hit pay dirt for its first event.
Funny that Kazakhstan is the country we may be supporting. Kim Tiell, the Calvert freshman, had her photo taken flanked by Kazakhstan and Russian swimmers at the McDonald's on Wangfujing Street today. The eastern European country is also a satellite location for the TU MBA program. Go Kazakhstan.

Athletes arriving

The athletes are arriving in droves. Yesterday the disgrace of the USOC was the arrival of the American cycling team wearing black masks as they departed the plane. Granted, the blue skies that greeted us haven't been seen in a few days, but it certainly isn't bad enough to warrant mask protection. One of our students compared the skies to the California wild fires, which is very true.

The torch run has hit the Great Wall and Forbidden City in the past two days, but their schedule was the exact opposite of our visits to the popular Beijing locations. Still, we have been able to meet Olympic athletes visiting some of Beijing tourist spots between their pre-game workouts.

The Great Wall and Forbidden City

Part of the Tiffin University Olympic Academic group took photos alongside the U.S. Field Hockey team also visiting the Great Wall. Encountering fellow Olympic enthusiasts from Sweden, Australia and Canada, a couple of people mistakenly thought our students were U.S. athletes. A Newsweek photographer also was seen along the trail for a photo shoot.
The climb up the Acropolis with the Brazilian basketball team during the 2004 Olympics paled in comparison to the intensity of climbing the Great Wall of China. Those two wonders of the world offer equally breathtaking views. The latter workout, however, left legs burning and your entire body dripping in sweat.

The Great Wall is about an hour drive from Beijing through parts of rural China that starkly contrast the city's modern skyscrapers. A Chinaman pedaling a bicycle with furniture (two full-length couches) strapped on the back was a common sight. We passed a suburb that was the venue for Olympic water events. Colorful Olympic banners lined the main road for miles at a time, and signage was plentiful.

Not on the regular tour agenda for Olympians, our group had the fortune of a guide who led us another hour north to the little-known Mountain Bar which could be described as a maze of open-air bars and restaurants on the side of a mountain. At the top, a few of the students practiced archery and attempted another climb up the part-natural and part-artificial rock wall.
Kim earned the name "Little Miss Fitness" after being the only one to reach the top of the rock wall following her morning feat as part of the fearsome four which set a land speed record for flying up the Great Wall earlier in the day.

Few athletes were walking around in the hot, humid, smoggy conditions on the date we toured the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We did take photos with mostly media personnel and spectators from Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Mexico, Great Britain and other countries we weren't positive of since we didn't have a cheat sheet for international flag recognition. Banners and floral arrangements of the Olympic logos are everywhere in downtown Beijing around the
Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Chinese journalists interviewed members of our group on several occasions. The sights and sounds are increasingly nosier as the final leg of the torch relay and the Opening Ceremonies approach.

Stay tuned

In the computer lab as I draft this article, the students are going nuts on ticket searches. Hopefully, it will pan out. As I prepared to finish this paragraph, I learned Kim and I are going to two days of boxing and I am probably headed to a baseball game. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Stay tuned for more adventures of the TU group. We are headed to the torch relay and Opening Ceremonies tomorrow.

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